University of Evansville

AceNotes Today

Thursday, September 24, 2020

* Winter Intersession

Students - start planning for your long winter break by taking some Winter Intersession courses. The Intersession will run from December 10, 2020 to January 15, 2021. The five week-plus online courses will provide a chance to complete missing requirements or maybe do an internship. Faculty are working hard to provide a variety of courses. Register for WI when you register for Spring classes. A full list of courses will be available soon.

* Suicide Awareness Month: Myths and Facts

MYTH: Marked and sudden improvement in the mental state of someone who has expressed suicidal thoughts means the help they are getting is working and the risk of suicide is over.

FACT: While the assistance they are receiving (if any) may in fact be helping, a sudden change in someone’s mental state or outward actions may be a warning sign of increased risk. It is still important to communicate with the person and not assume “everything’s okay now”. Listen to your gut – if something feels off about the sudden change, it’s important to communicate with the person and/or seek guidance from the counselors here at the University.

The Office of Counseling Services is located on the 2nd floor of Ridgway University Center, the first door to the left inside the Student Life suite. We are available to take appointments and meet with students in the office Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm. We see students for a variety of needs and can also send outreaches to students who may be in need of services. Additionally, our office offers on-call counseling for crisis emergencies, such as thoughts of suicide or self-injury; a counselor is available after hours or on the weekends by calling the Office of Public safety (812-488-2051) as asking for the on-call counselor.
Ph: 812-488-2663


COVID-19 Corner

* Who is included as an active case in the UE COVID-19 Dashboard?

The UE COVID-19 Dashboard includes individuals with active cases who:

  • have a direct on-campus impact (have been to campus)
  • have tested positive for COVID-19 and are currently self-isolating
  • choose to isolate at home or off-campus

Upcoming Events

* Health Sciences Students - Network with UE Alumna Amanda Wright '97

Students! You are invited to chat with UE alumna, Amanda Wright '97, about her career journey, obtain career advice, and build your UE network. Students can tune in to network face-to-face with Amanda via Zoom or join the event live on the UE Alumni Association's Facebook page.

UE Connect Online with Amanda Wright '97 - "Becoming Professionally Versatile"
Date: September 29, 2020
Time: 12:15 - 1:00 p.m. CST

Amanda is a practicing physician assistant as well as a faculty member at Vanderbilt University. During her networking session, Amanda will discuss the career possibilities as a PA and how becoming a versatile employee adds value to your professional image.

Register today for the networking event at

Questions or Comments? Contact Nichole Coffey at or 812-488-2900.

* Conversations with Chris to feature FDNY Battalion Chief David Morkal

Conversations with Chris banner (text below)

Join us for a YouTube Premiere of Conversations with Chris on Friday, September 25! UE's President Chris Pietruszkiewicz will interview Class of 1981 alum David Morkal and discuss his time as a student at UE, his career, and more.

Battalion Chief David Morkal is a 30-year veteran with the FDNY. Promoted to Lieutenant the week after the World Trade Center attacks, Chief Morkal has taken every opportunity to study leadership and enhance his leadership knowledge.
Morkal holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre from UE and worked in technical theatre across the country before joining the FDNY.

Conversations with Chris will premiere at 6PM and can be viewed by visiting (Please note: the interview will not premiere on the webpage until 6PM.)

After the conclusion of Conversations with Chris (approximately 7PM), check back on our Facebook page for a special Facebook Live event!


Info You Should Know

* Please Be Patient with Writing Center Technology

Please be patient with the sometimes mercurial writing center technology. If you are having a hard time getting an appointment this week, please give Katie Mullins (kd60) as much time as possible and she will try and connect you with a tutor outside the system as long as we have someone available. They will be thrilled to get to work with you and we are dying to open full-scale. Thanks again for your campus-wide support and patience.

* UE Theatre Hosted Finn Lefevre's "microaggresions & Internal Bias" Workshop

UE Theatre hosted another session of their 2020–21 Workshop Series on Sunday, Sept. 20, featuring 2012 UE alumnus Finn Lefevre’s MICROAGGRESIONS & INTERNAL BIAS workshop. Finn talked with students about specific systems of oppression that play out in theatre. The workshop covered internalized biases around race, gender, sexuality, ability, body, and mental health. Finn discussed how to disrupt behaviors in colleagues/collaborators/classmates, what to do if you’ve been called out, and ways to untangle and recognize your own bias.

Finn Lefevre is a freelance dramaturg, applied theatre facilitator, and educator based in Amherst, Massachusetts, the traditional lands of the Nipmuc and Pocumtuc Nations. They currently serve as a Lecturer in the University of Massachusetts Department of Theater, and as a founding member of the queer and trans performance collective Queer & Now. They have previously taught in the Department of Theater and Dance at Keene State College, and the Ethnic and Gender Studies department at Westfield State University. Their freelance work includes new play development, production dramaturgy, script evaluation, and workshop facilitation.

To learn more about Finn Lefevre check out their website at

Finn Lefevre.

* UE Theatre Salon Series Welcomed UE Theatre Alumnus David Morkal '81

This week’s installment of the UET Salon Series, LEADERSHIP IN TIMES OF CRISIS was held on Wednesday, Sept. 23, and featured UE Theatre alumnus David Morkal ’81.

David shared his experience with leading a team in times of crisis, which included the September 11 terrorist attacks, and the current pandemic. David graduated from UE in 1981, and is a 30–year veteran with the New York City Fire Department. David spent much of the beginning of his career working in technical theatre across the country. He also taught at both UE and Western Michigan University before joining the FDNY. David graduated from numerous leadership and management programs within the FDNY, and was promoted to lieutenant the week after the 9/11 attacks. David has continued to rise through the ranks to his current position as Battalion Chief, and also serves as the Executive Officer to the Chief of Operations at Headquarters for FDNY.

This semester, UE Theatre students will have the opportunity to experience twelve workshops with professionals from the entertainment industry.

David Morkal speaking.

* UE Receives $1 Million Lilly Endowment Grant

The University of Evansville recently received a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to enhance its online education and learning efforts. The grant was awarded through Lilly Endowment’s initiative, Charting the Future of Indiana’s Colleges and Universities, which was launched in 2019. Lilly Endowment invited all of Indiana’s accredited colleges and universities to examine how they could not only educate students and prepare them for successful futures but also maintain long-term financial sustainability as an institution. The organization announced the Phase 2 recipients on Monday, with a total of approximately $62 million awarded. 

After the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, UE successfully transitioned to an online learning platform for the Spring 2020 semester due to the dedication of faculty and staff. The pandemic helped UE to realize the substantial benefits of robust, technology-based educational capabilities.

With the grant funds, UE plans to implement major initiatives that will enhance the campus as well as the online learning environment. As the University plans for a future after the pandemic, online education will undoubtedly play a larger role in academics. Supporting online education will allow UE to serve traditional, on-campus students in addition to adult and international students.  

  • UE will create an Office of Strategic Technology and Online Learning within the Office of Academic Affairs. The office will include a director and two full-time assistant directors to lead the University’s efforts in developing online education that ensures the same high-quality experience offered through the in-person experience. Through this office, faculty will have access to training opportunities and one-on-one support as they develop online courses. 
  • Classrooms will also be renovated on campus to be capable of broadcasting to regional businesses, adult learners working remotely, and international locations, including China and India. The pandemic may create permanent changes to international travel, but specially designed ‘telepresence’ classrooms will allow UE to meet the demand for American programs in overseas settings. 
  • The grant will provide license software solutions for issues that are caused by technical difficulties discovered in an online environment, such as greater exam security, video capturing, and synchronous course delivery. Moving forward, UE will increase efforts towards program and curricular development for online learning. 
  • Lastly, UE will develop programs to offer undergraduate and graduate certificates, badges, non-credit professional development programs, and new degree programs for adult learners. This initiative will reach out to displaced workers, help local employers meet the demands of skills needed in their changing workforce, and encourage non-traditional students to enhance their career skill sets. 

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

* Good Trouble: Let's Do Something

A couple of weeks ago we gathered to formulate a campus-wide response to the racial injustice plaguing our country. At that time, we worked in breakout groups to generate a list of immediate and sustained actions we can take at UE to make out community more equitable and inclusive.

That list now points us forward in our fight for racial justice. We invite you to join us for our next virtual Good Trouble meeting on Monday, September 28th at 7pm. In this meeting we will again work in groups, this time to move forward on the specific actions we identified to effect meaningful and transformative change.

Please register online for this meeting and select the three actions you are most interested in working on with others in the UE community.

We are inspired by the belief of John Lewis that "Nothing can stop the power of a committed and determined people to make a difference in our society.”

It’s time to do something.

* Online Academic Peer Coaching Now Available

If you need better time management, study strategies, test preparation skills, organizational habits, and a healthier school-life balance, an Academic Coach can help!

Academic Coaches are waiting throughout the week to hear about your situation and offer advice, strategies, and motivation. Coaching is available through Zoom on a drop-in basis nearly every day of the week. Why feel stuck and overwhelmed? Get coaching now!

Go here to see the online drop-in peer coaching schedule:

Working with an academic coach can help get your academic life back into balance.

Academic Coaches are also available on an individual basis. If you'd like your own Academic Coach to work with you 1-1 each week, please ask!

Chad Hart

* Parking Restrictions in place for Front Oval on 9/25/2020

Parking in the front oval will be restricted beginning at 5:30pm on Friday, September 25th. All vehicles must be moved from the oval by that time. The restrictions are being implemented to allow the Evansville Fire Department to stage a fire truck on the oval in tribute to University of Evansville Alumni and FDNY Battalion Chief, David Morkal. The parking restrictions will be removed at 7:30pm that evening.

* ECO General Assembly Meeting

Don't miss this week's Environmental Concerns Organization meeting on Thursday, September 24th at 7:00 PM! We will be holding this semester's first conservation conversation, voting on shirts and holding signups for several upcoming events! This meeting will be entirely online, so reach out to mw346 for the link to join.

* Writing Center Delayed 24-48 Hours

The online Writing Center will be having a “soft” open on Tuesday, September 22, with a full opening on Wednesday, September 23rd. You will be able to make online appointments starting Monday afternoon via the University of Evansville’s Writing Center website. Thank you!

* UE Launches Aces Opportunity Grant for Qualified Indiana Freshmen

The University of Evansville has launched the Aces Opportunity Grant to make its transformative education accessible to students who display the greatest financial need.

Through the Aces Opportunity Grant, qualified freshmen entering in the fall of 2021 whose families earn less than $50,000 will pay no tuition out of pocket. Eligible Indiana students who submit a UE application for admission will automatically be considered for this grant.

"The Aces Opportunity Grant makes UE accessible to all Indiana students so that a financial barrier is not an obstacle to high impact, private education," said president Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz. "The grant program is a strong statement that all students should have choices about how to plan for a successful future in a small classroom environment and, at the same time, to make a positive impact on our communities by joining our commitment to service in a changing world."

The Aces Opportunity Grant works by bridging the gap between the scholarships and grants students receive and UE's tuition costs.

"We know quality higher education is expensive," said Kenton Hargis, UE's director of admission. "But we want to help more students find a way to say yes to UE." 

For more information about the University of Evansville and the Aces Opportunity Grant, visit the University's website at

* Art Showcase Outside Writing Center for Ethan Stevens

Student Emma Stevens’s brother, Ethan Stevens, has been working on paintings and clay for years, and he has an exhibit he put together. As they are both beloved members of the UE community and she is a tutor for the Writing Center, which will open soon, I am happy to announce he will have a showing of his work outside the Writing Center where Academic Advising used to be housed.

Some pieces will be available for purchase and the art will be on display for several weeks; however, Thursday, September 10th, you can come meet the artist himself at 4 PM. He will be there for at least an hour. This will be a VERY safe event: the doors will be opened for maximum air flow, the spacing will be limited, there will be hand sanitizer, and masks are required. However, it is an opportunity to support a member of our extended UE family who is spending this challenging time by creating art, and a way to remember what’s so special about UE and a liberal arts community— the community.

Ethan is willing to sign any art you purchase, and for the entirety of the exhibit (throughout the next several weeks) I hope that people will stop by and take pictures with his art: we’ll be using the hashtag “#ethansmileysart” because if this exhibit doesn’t make you smile, I don’t know what will. Come see our pop-up museum and meet the artist! We’re excited to see you and to celebrate creativity and beauty.

* Joanne Scott Massey - When Clay & Paint Collide

Exhibit: September 28 – November 25, 2020
Student Workshop: Sept. 29, 1:15-4pm
Student Gallery Lecture: Sept 30, 10:00-11:30am
Artist’s Reception & Public Gallery Lecture: October 1, 6:30-8:00pm (Lecture at 7:00)
All events are in the Melvin Peterson Gallery
Masks and Safe Distancing will be observed
Emerging Contemporary Artist Lecture Series supported by the Efroymson Family Fund and the Dept.of Art

massey art.



* Mechanical Engineering alum named "2020 Engineering Leader Under 40"

Congratulations to Justin Modglin (Class of 2017) for being selected as recipient of the 2020 Engineering Leader Under 40 award! Justin is a Project Engineer at Cresline Plastic Pipe Co. Inc. in Henderson, KY.

From the awards media release:

"Since beginning his career at Cresline, Justin has improved processes throughout several facilities. When new equipment is implemented, he looks for ways he can take advantage of the new technology to improve existing processes. He is not afraid to try new avenues to show his organization improvements in efficiencies, uptime, productivity, quality and performance. Justin is responsible for projects at six different manufacturing facilities. Projects range from design and replacement of equipment, to entire systems replacement. He also manages quality control for all six locations."

The goal of the Engineering Leaders Under 40 program is to call attention to successful, young engineers in manufacturing and to show how manufacturers are recruiting and developing the next generation of manufacturing professionals.

* Congratulations to our 2020 Commencement Award Recipients!

The University of Evansville would like to congratulate the following staff and faculty members! They received a 2020 Commencement award for this year's virtual celebration.

Eykamp Prize - Jerrilee LaMar, PhD, RN, CNE

Jerrilee is associate professor and chair in the Dunigan Family School of Nursing. The Eykamp Prize is awarded annually to a faculty member that displays extraordinary service to UE. Dr. LaMar was nominated for her commitment to student recruitment and success, innovation in teaching, and the development and mentoring of students. 

Outstanding Teacher Award - Mike Roscoe, PhD, PA-C

Mike Roscoe is the director and chair of the Master of Physician Assistant Science program. He also serves as an associate professor for the PA program. Dr. Roscoe was nominated by students and faculty for demonstrating passion for academic excellence, motivating and encouraging students, and inspiring future leaders.

Outstanding Senior Service Award - Megan Hawkins

Megan Hawkins, a graduate of the Elementary Education program, was nominated for demonstrating a commitment to high academic achievement, a commitment to service, and exemplary leadership. The Outstanding Senior Service Award is named for respected alumni Mabel Dillingham Nenneker and Guthrie May.


If you haven't yet had a chance to view the virtual celebration, you can find it on the Commencement Corner.


In The News

* UE Recognized by WSJ for Student Engagement

We are pleased to announce that the University of Evansville has been named to The Wall Street Journal’s annual U.S. College Rankings for student engagement! UE ranked 16th in the nation among over 4,000 four-year colleges and universities in the United States.

Now in its fifth year, the U.S. College Rankings focuses most on student success and learning outcomes. Insights for the report were gathered through the Times Higher Education U.S. Student Survey, which included questions about interactions with faculty and other students, whether a student felt involved and welcome, and whether the student would recommend the school.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the University to implement health and safety guidelines on campus, students can still be involved and obtain an engaging college experience. We offer over 130 student organizations and clubs, and the Center for Student Engagement can assist students with community service opportunities, Greek Life, leadership development, and more.

The faculty and staff at UE are dedicated to creating a welcoming campus environment that serves as a constant support system for our students. The ranking from The Wall Street Journal is a true testament to that goal, and together we will continue to provide engaging opportunities for our students!


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To have content considered for inclusion in Purple Pulse, please submit a Marketing Request Form. Deadline for submission to Purple Pulse is 10:00 a.m. on the requested date of publication. Only articles concerning UE related/sponsored activities will be accepted. Articles submitted to Purple Pulse may be edited for length and clarity. Submitter contact information is at the end of each article.

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